PHP 8 Support and Version Selectors

We have some exciting news to share with you about the latest improvements to the Pagely Hosting Platform.

Our team has been working very hard to deliver a collection of features that many of our customers have asked for. Today, we’re happy to announce a brand new set of controls inside of Atomic for managing PHP Versions!

Choose the PHP version on a per-application basis.

Nestled within the application details page is a new section, aptly named “PHP Version”. You will be able to specify the version of PHP you want each app to use. Currently, the available versions are 8.0, 7.4, and 7.3. The changes are applied in a minute or two, and only apply to the app you’re working on (other apps remain fully operational with their versions unchanged).

Make ongoing updates to the PHP versions more hands-free.

More important than being able to choose a version of PHP today is being able to set your update preferences over time. We think it’s a better experience to be able to specify an overall preference instead of an exact version, as time passes on older versions of PHP reach end-of-life and must be phased out in favor of newer releases that continue receiving performance, functionality, and security improvements. To that end, we added support for Named Versions! You can pick an overall preference to be on the “Latest” version of PHP or the “Stable” version. We’ll keep your app’s PHP version up to date when things change over time, to save you the trouble of having to change that yourself every so often.

Of course, we fully support pinning to a specific version if you know you need to stay on a particular one and we’ll keep those versions available until the very end of the sunset period;  giving you plenty of time to ensure compatibility issues are ironed out before jumping forward to the newer releases.

Make new versions of PHP available to use on Pagely sooner, rather than later.

Before these changes, we were working to keep you on the most “Stable” version of PHP. This meant our auto-update schedule was mostly driven by the eventual end-of-life timeframe on the oldest stable versions. PHP releases generally have a two-year shelf life for receiving active support and an additional year of security updates once active support has ended. Having to take the plunge with all apps getting the version changed at the same time introduced its own set of tradeoffs as well. But now, thanks to these platform improvements, our team can make newer versions of PHP available for you as soon as they are released. This gives you much more runway to try out the new versions before the old ones phase out and it can be tested more easily because it’s now a per-app setting.

Docker: This is the way.

We thought it would be good to mention that these new capabilities of our platform were made possible by using Docker. For those who may not know what Docker is, it’s a containerization technology that allows you to run applications inside of isolated environments. This leads to fewer dependencies to be resolved on the host server’s OS and enables more rapid delivery of things like newer PHP versions, as well as excellent security and resource isolation. It aligns perfectly with Pagely’s values and we’re excited to integrate this technology with our Atomic control panel and with our hosting stack. If you still don’t quite get it, that’s okay — you don’t need to know how to use Docker to benefit from it here.

As time goes on, we’ll be making more use of the capabilities it provides, including fine-grained resource controls for each app and enhanced levels of support for less-commonly used extensions, as well as popular integrations like New Relic APM and Data Dog APM.

Stay tuned for more future announcements, and please make sure to let us know what else you’d like to see supported!

How do I get it?

  • If you sign up for any of our Pagely VPS plans today, you’ll have instant access to this functionality out of the box.
  • Starting today, existing customers can gain early access free of charge by Contacting Support.
  • Over the coming weeks we will be scheduling maintenance to get everyone upgraded to the new system. Make sure to subscribe to updates on https://status.pagely.com to be notified of upcoming maintenance windows.
  • For those getting the upgrade, we will initially keep your apps on the same version of PHP they are running on currently. Once your account is upgraded you will have the PHP Version Tool unlocked inside of Atomic and can start managing your versions.

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